Public Transport from London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow is quite a large airport with 5 Terminals scattered throughout the grounds. Read on to find out the best way to travel between Terminal buildings and how to get to/from Heathrow Airport.
Getting around London Heathrow Airport by Public Transport
As a major hub for world travel, the odds are you may be looking to transfer between Terminals during your stopover in Heathrow. The airport currently has 5 terminals and getting from one to the next can be a little hectic. Luckily all travel between terminals on the local bus or the Express & Connect trains is free.
Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are all located within the same Central Terminal Area between the runways, so you should be able to walk between these terminals if need be. Even if you have a lot of luggage you can just grab a trolley and take the Underground Tunnels which have Travelators (Moving Sidewalk).
Central Terminal Area -> Terminal 4, which is located in the south-east corner of the airport, below the southern runway, then you will need to take the free Heathrow Connect train (every 15 minutes and takes about 3 minutes) or take Bus 555/557 (19 minutes trip). You can get the bus from the Central Bus Station which sits in the middle of the Central Terminal Area.
Central Terminal Area -> Terminal 5, which is located to the far west of the airport also between the runways, then you will need to take the free Heathrow Express train (every 15 minutes and takes about 3 minutes) or a bus such as Bus 441 (10 minute trip), Bus 724 (20 minute trip) or the N9 Nightbus (10 minute trip). You can get the bus from the Central Terminal Area.
Terminal 4 <-> Terminal 5, you can take a direct bus service such as Bus 724 (12 minute trip), Bus 490 (15 minute trip) or Bus 482 (12 minute trip). Alternatively you can take a train to the Central Terminal Area and switch over there.
To catch a bus from Terminal 4 or 5 you’ll find the bus stops right outside the entrance area to each of the Terminals. The Connect and Express trains have stops in the basement level of their respective terminals. Travel is only free within the airport.
Getting out of London Heathrow Airport by Public Transport
The Connect and Express trains are also connected to central London (Paddington Station).
The Express line runs from Terminal 5, through the Central Terminals Area, and on, non-stop, to Paddington. The train leaves every 15 minutes with a journey time of about 15 minutes
The Connect line runs from Terminal 4, through the Central Terminals Area, and on to Paddington with stops at Hayes & Harlington, Southall, Hanwell (closed Sundays), West Ealing (closed Sundays) and Ealing Broadway (you can change to the Central and District lines of the London Underground). The train leaves every 15 minutes with a journey time of 25 minutes.
The London Underground’s Piccadilly Line also serves the airport and stops at all the terminals, though the travel time is about 45 minutes due to a larger number of stops on the route but it will get you right into the heart of the city at Piccadilly Circus.
Heathrow Airport has one of the biggest bus stations in the country, with many local bus services to the city centre and the nearby London suburbs. There are also some long-distance coach services operated by National Express to various parts of the UK.
There are two dedicated RailAir coach services that can take you to nearby railway stations that are connected with the rest of the country. The first of these runs to Reading Railway Station, which can connect you to the West Country, South Wales, the Midlands and the south coast of England. The second runs Woking Railway Station, which can connect you to Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire.
As with most airports there’s a dedicated hotel shuttle bus service is operated by Dot2Dot from each terminal, and HotelHoppa buses connect each terminal with hotels in the Heathrow area.
Transferring to another airport from Heathrow
Transferring to London Gatwick:
Gatwick is England’s 2nd largest airport and it’s located 45km south of London.
There’s a National Express Couch Service from Heathrow to Gatwick that operates 6 times an hour, with a journey time of 75 minutes. Adult fare is about £19 and you can buy tickets from the National Express desk or the driver.
You can also get a train though you will have to travel via central London. The Heathrow Express and Connect Lines connect to Paddington; and the Gatwick Express line stops at Victoria; both of these stops are located on the Yellow Circle Line. If you are coming in on the Piccadilly Line, then changing at South Kensington to the Circle line will get you to Victoria Station.
Transferring to London Stansted:
Stansted is located about 60km to the north-east of London.
There’s a National Express Couch Service from Heathrow to Stansted that operates once or twice an hour, with a journey time of about 90 minutes. Adult fare is about £22.50 and you can buy tickets from the National Express desk.
You can also get a train though you will have to travel via central London. The Heathrow Express and Connect Lines connect to Paddington; and the Gatwick Express line stops at Liverpool Street; both of these stops are located on the Yellow Circle Line. If you are coming in on the Piccadilly Line, then changing at South Kensington to the Circle line will get you to Liverpool Street.
If you would like to drive out of London Heathrow Airport then take a look at our car hire Heathrow Airport page.
If you’ve any hints or tips about travelling through London Heathrow Airport or any further questions then we’d be more than happy to see them. Please feel free to leave your message in the comment box below.